China will double down on Putin backing with Beijing to bail out Russia, US fears

China 'will play their own game with Russia' says Prystaiko

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Xi Jinping has already decided to provide Putin’s regime with financial support during the war, unconfirmed reports suggest. It is also feared military supplies could be sent in an act of further backing. This could include armed drones.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan engaged in talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi yesterday, on Monday.

These talks were described as “intense”, having spanned around seven hours.

US officials did not, however, come out reassured about China’s position with Russia.

One, quoted in CNBC, told reporters: “What I would say in general is that we do have deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia.

“The national security adviser was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions.”

In a separate conference, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “We are watching very closely to the extent to which China or any country in the world provides support material, economic, financial, rhetorical otherwise, to this war of choice that President Putin is waging against the Government of Ukraine, against the state of Ukraine and against the people of Ukraine.”

Another official added: “We have seen China basically give tacit approval to what Russia is doing by refusing to join sanctions, by blaming the West and the United States for the assistance we’ve given Ukraine, and by claiming they wanted to see a peaceful outcome but essentially doing nothing to achieve it.”

Some fear this “tacit approval” may at some stage be matched by the provision of military support.

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But to the claim Moscow had already sought military assistance in Ukraine from China, Beijing today, on Tuesday, responded angrily.

The Chinese embassy in London told Reuters: “The US has repeatedly spread malicious disinformation against China on the Ukraine issue.”

It added the “top priority” was now to “ease the situation”, not to “add fused to the fire”.

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Western officials remain unconvinced as they fear that, should financial support is considered fair game, a line won’t be drawn on military assistance.

One US official, quoted in the Guardian, highlighted: “They’ve already decided that they’re going to provide economic and financial support, and they underscored that [in yesterday talks].

“The question really is whether they will go further.”

Also today, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his troops would not be getting involved in the invasion of Ukraine because “there is no need for that”.

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